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03-31: Japan Display Inc (JDI) plans to raise more than USD500M; Samsung Electronics will build Xian Line 2 in China to cope with explosive demand for 3D NAND flashes; etc.

Touch Display

LG’s upcoming flagship smartphone, possibly called the LG G7, is reportedly going to come in 2 versions – one with a pOLED display and one with an MLCD+ display.  (CN Beta, Phone Arena, ET News, Android Authority)

Yole Development and Knowmade have confirmed that substantial microLED IP development has been underway at Apple. In this patent landscape analysis, Apple ranks first in term of the size, strength and depth of its portfolio with more than 60 patent families. (Yole, press, iMicronews, Laoyaoba)

Huawei has filed a patent with WIPO a foldable smartphone that opens and closes like a book. The display – a single panel, rather than two like the Axon M – and should be tablet-sized when fully open.  (GSM Arena, LetsGoDigital, Sohu)

Japan Display Inc (JDI) plans to raise more than USD500M that will be put towards manufacturing LCD panels for Apple’s next-generation iPhone. JDI is looking to raise JPY35B through newly issued shares, JPY30B from overseas investors and another JPY5B from Japanese LED maker Nichia.  (Apple Insider, Asia Nikkei, 36Kr)

Storage

Samsung Electronics will build Xian Line 2 in China to cope with explosive demand for 3D NAND flashes. Samsung Electronics will spend USD7B for 3 years for investment in Xian Line 2. It is said that the second line’s NAND flash production capacity will be about 120,000 wafers per month. This capacity tops 20% of Samsung Electronics’s total NAND flash production capacity, which is estimated to be between 460,000 and 490,000 units per month. (CN Beta, Nikkei, Asia Nikkei, ZDNet, Business Korea)

Jiangsu Advanced Memory Technology (AMT) Phase Change Memory (PCM) factory project costs about CNY13B investment, with phase one will produce 100,000 units of 12” PCM chipset after complete construction. (CN Beta, JS China, XHBY, OfWeek, AMT)

Sensory

Engineers at Tufts University have created a wearable tooth sensor for diet monitoring. The tiny sensor is wireless and monitoring intake of salt, alcohol, and glucose, and then collecting that data to be used for research revolving around health and what happens with the body during the intake of certain things, as well as happens in and around the body after the fact. (Android Headlines, Digital Trends, Yahoo, Sciencemag, Sohu, 36Kr)

Battery

Softbank Group has signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Arabia to build a USD200B solar power plant. Expected to reach its full capacity of 200 gigawatts by 2030, the development will be the largest of its kind in the world by far. (TechCrunch, Bloomberg, CN Beta)

Connectivity

Research and development on the 5G mobile networks advanced “faster than expected” throughout 2017, according to Ericsson President and Chief Executive Officer Börje Ekholm. He also revealed that the company has won roughly 50% of the world’s 5G contracts so far.  (Android Headlines, Fierce Wireless, Ericsson, Reuters, ZDNet)

Phones

Gionee’s factory in Dongguan reportedly has started laying off its employees, and request to complete the negotiation of the termination of the labor contract by the end of Apr 2018. Gionee’s phone production area is located in Dongguan with about 8000 staff, and annual production could reach 80M units. (CN Beta, Sina)

US FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s new proposal would prevent Universal Service Fund money from being used “to purchase equipment or services from any communications equipment or service providers identified as posing a national security risk to communications networks or the communications supply chain”. That meant to deter US carriers and wireless providers from purchasing gear made by Huawei and ZTE. (CN Beta, The Verge, Ars Technica, The Register, FCC, WSJ)

Amid fears of a trade war between the US and China, Asustek Computer chairman Jonney Shih has said that the company is able to flexibly adapt to market changes and might even consider shifting production to the US. (Laoyaoba, UDN, Focus Taiwan, Taipei Times)

Huawei has published its consolidated financial report for 2017, revealing its net profit reached the equivalent of USD7.3B in 2017, a 28% increase compared to 2016. Huawei’s units encompassing North and South America shrank by 10.9% over the same period and now account for only 6.5% of its overall business. The consumer division generated nearly 40% of the firm’s USD96.17B revenue, having grown by almost 32%.  (Android Headlines, Huawei, Huawei, Forbes, WSJ, 21Jingji, SZNews)

The CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group, Richard Yu, said his company is not pulling out of the US. He indicates that his company is committed to the US market and to earning the trust of US consumers by staying focused on delivering world-class products and innovation. (CN Beta, BGR, Forbes, CNET)

Huawei spent a USD13.8B on research and development in 2017, ranking the Chinese tech giant among the world’s top spenders, and projects its budget will rise to as much as USD20B each year. Ken Hu, Huawei’s deputy chairman and rotating chief executive, said the challenges in the US would make the company work “even harder in other markets around the world”. (CN Beta, Financial Times, Irish Times)

Huawei Enjoy 8 series is official: 8 – 5.99” 1440×720, Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, rear dual 13MP-2MP + front 8MP, 3GB+32GB / 4GB+64GB, Android 8.0, 3000mAh, CNY1299 / CNY1499. 8e – 5.7” 1440×720, Qualcomm Snapdrago 430, rear dual 13MP-2MP + front 5MP, 3GB+32GB, 3000mAh, CNY1099. 8 Plus – 5.93” FHD+, Huawei Kirin 659, rear dual 13MP-2MP + front dual 16MP-2MP, 4GB+64 / 128GB, Android 8.0, 4000mAh, CNY1699 / CNY1899.  (Gizmo China, Sina, Sohu, CNMO, Vmall)

ZTE Tempo Go is the first Android Go launched in US – 5” FWVGA, Qualcomm Snapdragon 210, rear 5MP + front 2MP, 1GB+8GB, Android 8.0 (Oreo Go), 2200mAh, USD80. (GizChina, The Verge, Mashable, GSM Arena)

Wearables

Under Armour says data breach affected about 150M MyFitnessPal accounts. Payment information, which Under Armour collects and processes separately, has not been affected by the breach. Under Armour does not collect government identifiers, like social security numbers and driver’s license numbers. (CN Beta, CNBC, Yahoo, BGR)

New GoPro Hero is available globally right now for USD199. It shoots HD video at 1440p and 1080p at 60fps. It also shoots 10MP stills and has an electronic video stabilization system. It has a 2” touch display, voice controls for starting and stopping a recording, and waterproofing down to 30ft. (CN Beta, Gizmodo, The Verge, Wired)

Internet of Things

Gradient Ventures, an early-stage venture fund within Google, is leading a USD6M investment in a new company that is building software to let humans control cars remotely. Scotty Labs, a nine-person startup, works on “teleoperations,” an emerging slice of the autonomous vehicle business that may grow more critical as the field faces closer scrutiny. (Bloomberg, Android Headlines)

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